A Castle in Spain

Mikal Wix

May 13, 2022


Last night, he showed up again.
My lover has buttery hands,
always reaching for more.
I can’t, or won’t, stop him in the dark,
peopled by sirens whooping and gunshots nearing.
I guess I still need his drive
to climb and mount the peak
of whatever we are — another flag planted
to claim some palatial inconsequence,
because every morning, I uproot the pole,
change the standard, tear down the bunting,
and smooth the place over to appear strange again.
His refractory period is long, he argues,
and I’m grateful for that.
I’m his wife, at least: his sheepshank —
his word, not mine.
He works the nightshift, speeding
among the city fights, like a bolt cutter,
in uniform, when he comes to parbuckle me
with his knuckles, crimson stains now black,
the skin glue gone from punches thrown,
to roll me over, to right the ship.
But his bright white scars run on,
a constellation of straw in the wind,
to guide me out of this dream of giving a damn,
and behind this scene of needing a man.

Mikal Wix grew up in the American South, which seeded insights into many outlooks, including visions of a revenant from the closet. He has work in Penumbra Literary Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, Tahoma Literary Review, Hyacinth Review, Roi Fainéant Press, Fiery Scribe Review, among others. He works as a science editor.